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16 Inspiring Movies that Will Give You Motivation to Study

Studying abroad could be one of the best and most challenging experiences you’ll ever have. Between settling into your new accommodation, opening a student bank account, and trying to keep on top of the workload, there is plenty to keep you busy. While exploring your new city is key to making the most of your time abroad, it’s important not to forget the reason you’re there in the first place – to learn!

To help keep your mind focused, here is NatWest Student Banking team’s list of 6 of the most inspiring movies for students to remind you of the value of learning and to encourage you to work hard at your studies. Everybody has their off days when studying and we think that these films will be just the thing to inspire you on one of those days.

Why not check out our article debunking the top 5 movie misconceptions about University?

1. Dead Poets Society (1989)

Robin Williams is on top form as the iconoclastic John Keating, the unconventional English teacher who uses his love of poetry and classic literature to break down barriers at the oppressive Welton Academy. Keating inspires his young charges to ‘seize the day’, challenge the school’s strict rules, and truly be themselves.

The film is packed with emotionally-charged, touching scenes but the one that won’t fail to make the hairs on your arm stand up is this one where Keating’s students demonstrate what he means to them – “Oh Captain, My Captain…”

2. The Pursuit Of Happiness (2006)

The Pursuit Of Happiness is the amazing real-life tale of Chris Gardner who, with the power of hard work and perseverance, takes himself from sleeping on the subway all the way to the millionaire founder of his own brokerage house.

Never missing an opportunity and studying hard, after a few years, Chris works his way up the career ladder from medical equipment salesman to financial hotshot. If there’s one story that demonstrates that you should never give up, no matter how bad things get, it’s Chris’.

3. Good Will Hunting (1997)

Matt Damon masterfully plays the eponymous role of Will Hunting, a 20-year-old mathematical prodigy with a rough past, a tendency for street fighting and run-ins with the law. The film shows how an underachiever can turn things around.

Some of the most inspiring scenes are during Hunting’s therapy sessions with psychologist Sean (Robin Williams), where as shown in this clip, we finally see his defenses come down and the genius within begins to shine.

4. School of Rock (2003)

In this movie, the irrepressible Jack Black plays a down-on-his-luck musician who makes use of a combination of creative interview techniques, Led Zeppelin riffs, crazy love for music, and a ridiculous amount of ‘winging it’ to transform a class of upper-class unhappy kids into a real group of tiny rock Gods.

While the movie was never going to challenge for the Best Picture Oscar, it’s a fantastic offbeat example of how education can inspire really positive change amongst the most unlikely looking people. Watch Jack Black teach utilising the power of song. If you were a fan of the movie when it first came out then you may be interested to see this photo – taken when the cast recently reunited for a 10 year anniversary of the movie’s release:

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“The School of Rock cast reunion, 10 years on”

5. Freedom Writers (2007)

Coming in under the radar in 2007, this film tells a true and inspirational story based on the success of Erin Gruwell, a teacher who came up with a unique style of teaching that took a group of underachieving inner city kids to the heights of academic achievement.

Erin is played by Hilary Swank, who does an impressive job of portraying a woman with a single-minded drive and passion for education. It’s wonderful to see how the lives and fortunes of her class are completely turned around when they finally get into studying.

6. Stand and Deliver (1988)

Another inspirational film based on a true story, Stand and Deliver tells the story of Jamie Escalante who leaves his job to teach maths at a school with a reputation for rebellious students and a focus on discipline over education. Over the course of two school years, Escalante takes his students from struggles to successes; the high point comes when the students all pass their advanced calculus exams.

Stand and Deliver demonstrates that academic success is not out of reach just because of their background or their current struggles. The story demonstrates the possibilities open to anyone no matter what they may have been told in the past.

This list of 6 most inspirational movies that will help you with your study motivation has been provided by the NatWest Student Banking team so that next time you feel yourself becoming disillusioned with your course or you’re finding the workload too great to bear, take some time out to watch one of these movies and maybe it will remind you why you chose to study your subject in the first place and inspire you to study.

Enjoying this list? Why not click here to see our article on the top 5 movie misconceptions about University?

More movies? Yes, please!

To keep your motivational levels high up, i-STUDENTglobal provides you with an additional list of 10 must-see movies that can provide many forms of inspiration – art, literature, comedy and even studying. Here are some of our team’s favourite films that will inspire you – like they have inspired us – to get further in your education.

1. The History Boys (2009)

An unruly and charismatic class of boys work alongside their two eccentric teachers in attempts to get into Oxford or Cambridge University. The boys eventually learn that their unruly personality is what makes them unique and a perfect addition to their impending university.

2. The Social Network (2010)

Two friends from Harvard decide to put the entire university experience online in an attempt to get in with certain social groups at the university. Instead, they become targets of the people they tried to get involved with. In all, never underestimate the power of social media.

3. Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit (1993)

A nun reprises her role in the music scene by joining a Catholic schools mission to take their choir further in the state championships. The lesson in this film is that any student can find their place with the right encouragement.

4. Educating Rita (1983)

Rita is a young wife who decides to finally complete her education. In doing so, she meets a teacher who expands her interests and her new educational background begins to cause issues at home. Rita understands that you are never too old to finish your education.

5. Starter for 10 (2006)

First-year Brian attempts to get through his time at Bristol University without any bumps or bruises. Set in 1985, this isn’t going to happen for Brian. He learns its better not to cheat at university…

6. The Breakfast Club (1985)

Five students from different social groups meet in a Saturday detention. As the day goes on learn they have more in common than they thought. Differences are often only skin-deep and stereotypes can be based on as little as fashion choices.

7. Monsters University (2013)

This prequel to the 2001 contemporary Disney classic, Monsters Inc. explores how two friends, Mike Wazowski & James P Sullivan (Sully), came to meet whilst studying at Monsters University. While we all know them as best friends, they originally started as arch-nemeses. Monsters need a bit of education too.

8. A Beautiful Mind (2001)

Tom, one of the most intellectual minds of his generation, changes his life direction after accepting a job position at the Department of Defense rather than as a professor or researcher. This change shows Tom that success comes at a great cost.

9. 21 (2008)

MIT students learn from a teacher to count cards in Las Vegas in order to pay for their university education. Things take a turn for the worse when the students get in too deep in their deceptions. Maths can have its’ uses.

10. The Theory of Everything (2014)

The personal story of Stephen Hawking as he sets his legacy while studying at university. While studying, he develops motor neuron disease, which alters the course of his life forever. A fantastic story proving the mind does conquer all.

Enjoyed this list? Why not click here to read our post about 5 common misconceptions movies have about University?

Top 10 Most Popular Countries for International Students 2020

So you want to go to university, but you’re not sure where. Don’t worry, we’ve got you. You’ll be pleased to know that living and learning in a different country can bring SO many benefits, personal and professional. According to Statista, these are the top study destinations for international students in 2020. Are any of these on your list?

1. United States – 1,075,496 International Students

From New York to LA, Florida to Seattle, America is one of the most expansive and diverse countries in the entire world. It is home to some of the very best universities. Though the cost of studying and living in America can be tear-jerkingly high, the freedom to explore and the sheer quality of the courses is surely worth it.

2. United Kingdom – 551,495 International Students

The United Kingdom is known for having some of the best universities in the world and boasts a strong employability rate. Though tuition fees are high, the courses are only three years (as opposed to four like the USA). The UK has a fantastically rich history and is one of the most diverse countries in the whole of the world. Plus, it is the home of the English language, giving you the perfect opportunity to hone your language skills.

3. Canada – 503,270 International Students

In Canada, you can polish up your English skills as well as your French, as these are the two leading languages. Canada is often voted as one of the top countries for the quality of life and happiness of its citizens and it also has a low crime rate. It proudly boasts some of the very best Universities in the world.

4. Australia – 463,643 International Students

Australia is always one of the top destinations for International Students. It has low living and tuition costs, and Australian universities often offer scholarships that help to lower prices even further. They also allow students to work up to 40 hours a week with their student visas. Australia has beautiful landscapes, great weather, lovely beaches and big party culture. It is always very popular with students.

5. France – 358,000 International Students

France is one of those countries where you can go skiing in the morning, and then have a vineyard tour at sunset. It is so vast and has so many fantastic regions, each with its own identity and culture. The education costs are very reasonable compared to other top destinations, and it is the home of some of the world’s largest corporate brands.

6. Russia – 353,331 International Students

Russia values education very highly, and around 54% of its population have or are studying degrees. The country is so large that there is so much to explore. One half of Russia is very European, whilst the other has strong Asian influences. Russia is a very modern country, however, its values are traditional and so this mix is otherworldly. It is becoming more and more popular over the years and is definitely one to consider.

7. Germany – 302,157 International Students

Germany has a wide selection of highly ranked Universities and promises strong employability. German universities offer a lot of degrees at a low, or sometimes no, cost! It has a long and rich cultural heritage, a fantastic art scene and unmatched nightlife.

8. Japan – 228,403 International Students

Japan has always been a popular destination with students. It is often seen as the epicentre of technological innovation, and so is popular with students interested in science and technology. Japan has one of the lowest crime rates in the world and the health service is very inexpensive, and so it is pretty safe there. The food is amazing, the culture is so interesting, and the landscape is endless.

9. Spain – 125,675 International Students

Spain is becoming an increasingly popular destination for international students to choose to study in for many reasons. One is that the education system is very well-organised and straightforward. Another is that the cost of living in Spain is cheaper than most of its European counterparts. A key reason is also the beautiful year-round weather, which goes perfectly with the gorgeous Spanish beaches. Spain has a lot of rich history to explore, and a huge party culture so there is something there for everyone!

10. Netherlands – 94,236 International Students

Studying in the Netherlands is fast becoming a popular choice with students from all over the world. It boasts a very high standard of education and a lot of degrees are taught 100% in English, making it very popular with students from the UK and USA. The Netherlands is a very safe place to live and learn, with a big international student community and good employability rates.

 

5 More Must-have Apps for International Students

Gone are the days of turning up to class with a notepad and a pen. Thanks to modern technology, our studying habits are becoming far quicker and easier. Studying apps are a fantastic way to make writing, reading, referencing and notetaking that little bit easier. Here are our 5 must-have apps for international students.

Grammarly

Grammarly corrects your grammar in real-time and offers you better words to make your writing even stronger. You can download it onto your phone, tablet, and laptop! A must-have for all students, whether English is your first language or you’re still learning. Find out more.

Cite This For Me

Use Cite This For Me (RefMe) to get the perfect book citations every time. Either download the app on your phone to scan a book’s barcode or use their web version to search for your book in their online library. Choose between MLA, APA, Harvard, Chicago, or whatever format your school uses. Find out more.

myHomework Student Planner

myHomework is a digital student planner that lets you track your classes, homework, tests and projects so you never forget an assignment again. You can download their free version, which allows you to track your classes and assignments, receive reminders and use homework widgets. Find out more.

Otter

Otter is a fantastic app that records when someone speaking and converts it into text in real-time. It’s perfect for sitting in class or a lecture theatre if you struggle to take notes quickly. You can simply record the whole class. This is great if the tutor is not speaking in your first language, as you can go back and reread what they have said.

Office Lens

This app from Microsoft takes pictures of documents, whiteboards, blackboards, magazines, receipts, and more and converts them into editable, shareable text. It can read images from an angle and it cleans up glare and shadows too. Very useful for group projects or on-the-go editing. Find out more.

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Reflections on Studying Abroad in a Changing World and a Warming Climate, Part One

I have spent much of the last three years talking to people who work in international education about the need to cut down how much they travel because of the damage that flying does to the environment …. I suppose the lesson here is to be careful what you wish for as the COVID-19 crisis bites and forces much of the planet into lockdown.

The coronavirus pandemic is understandably absorbing everyone’s attention right now but unfortunately, the underlying problem of climate change has not gone away. Maybe, just maybe though, this strange new world we have entered offers us a new window of hope for how we might resolve it.

But first, let me go back to the beginning to talk about how global student mobility contributes to the climate crisis and then how the international education sector might serve as a catalyst for positive action.

The Scale Of The Climate Challenge

The world has warmed by roughly 1°C since the time of the industrial revolution in the mid-19th century because of human activity. This temperature rise is already causing stronger storms, more erratic weather, dangerous heatwaves, longer droughts and extended fire seasons.  At even a 1.5°C temperature rise – the lower end of the Paris Agreement targets – this trend will intensify and be accompanied by large-scale disruption to climate systems, infrastructure and migration patterns.

If we stay on our current emissions trajectory, we will see warming of more than 4°C by the end of this century which would mean that many major cities in India and parts of the Middle East would literally become lethal on some days due to extreme temperatures and heatwaves (Mani M, et al. 2018), and whole regions of Africa, Australia and the United States, as well as parts of Asia and South America would be uninhabitable as a result of direct heat, desertification or flooding.

We still have a little time – around 10 years – to prevent such a catastrophic outcome according to the UN report (IPCC 2018). To do this, the 15 largest economies must cut their carbon-dioxide emissions in half over the next four decades. The scale of that task is immense, however.

According to Vox Magazine in 2014,

“to put that in perspective global emissions declined by just 1 percent in the year after the 2008 financial crisis, during a brutal recession when factories and buildings around the world were idling. to stay below 2°c, we may have to triple that pace of cuts, and sustain it year after year.’’

 

The COVID-19 situation means we have to update this current picture as normal life has closed down for a staggeringly large part of the world’s population. This has pressed pause on our greenhouse gas emissions which up until the pandemic had still been rising.

So, we have a little room to breathe, and a chance to reflect on how the world works and how we might perhaps remake it a little differently once the current threat of the virus has passed.

Ailsa Lamont, Director and Founder at Pomegranate Global and Co-Founder of CANIE: Climate Action Network for International Educators. 

 

 

Becoming a Doctor: How Long Does It Take?

To read our in-depth article about studying medicine in Germany, click here.

If you’re looking to work in the medical profession, you will no doubt be aware that this is not something that can happen overnight. Every role in healthcare, from nurses to consultants and everybody in between, needs to be highly trained to perform their job to the best of their ability, as often these professionals will be the ones making the decisions that will either make patients better or worse. Something that you might not be aware of is that in different countries, the same courses can take a different duration and by studying abroad, you may actually reduce the time of your training whilst also benefitting from taking in a new culture overseas whilst you are studying.

Here we take a look at how long it takes to study and train to become a doctor and a nurse in the UK, Ireland, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

How Long Does It Take To Become A Doctor?

doctor-how-long-to-become-a-gp

Becoming A General Practitioner (GP)

A GP is a family doctor who should have a comprehensive understanding of all aspects of the human body and health. Primary skills required by a GP are those of diagnosis as a lot of the time they will be presented with a patient who has some symptoms but may not know the underlying causes. The skill in working as a GP comes in recognising early signs of potentially serious symptoms and knowing who patients should be referred to for more specialist care. The benefits of working as a GP include a good salary, potential for ongoing work at a single location and regular working hours. Many GPs also work ‘out of hours’ services and do home visits when required. Training to be a GP varies widely from country to country, ranging from 9 years in Ireland and Australia to up to 14 years in New Zealand.

How Long Does It Take To Become A GP?

UK

In addition to the usual 5-6 years for studying a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS), you will also need to complete two foundation years working in a hospital, known as F1 and F2, and 3 years of vocational training before you can be classed as a GP. In total, this works out at around 10-11 years to become a GP in the UK.

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Ireland

In Ireland, Medical School lasts for 5 years. Following this GP training is a specialist programme which takes 4 years to complete. In total it takes 9 years to become a GP in Ireland.

USA

In America, Medical School is slightly shorter than the UK, with courses taking 4 years to complete, however, a bachelor’s degree is pre-requisite, which also takes 4 years to complete. Following Medical School, graduates must undertake an internship or clerkship, commonly known as a residency. A residency is usually based in a hospital and is primarily a practical role, rather than textbook learning in the first two years of medical school. This usually lasts from 3-8 years, depending on your specialism. Following this, fellowships are further training opportunities for doctors to specialise further. In total, training to be a GP or Family Practitioner (FP) as they are often called in the USA usually takes 11 years.

Canada

In Canada it is a pre-requisite for medical students to have undertaken an undergraduate degree prior to starting Medical School. This does not have to be related to medicine, although it may help your application if the bachelor’s degree is complementary to medicine such as Biology. Following at least 3 (typically 4) years of study for your undergraduate degree, you must complete 4 years of study at Medical School, followed by 2-5 years of postgraduate study as you focus on your specialism. Most specialisms last for 5 years, but Family Medicine is usually a 2-year programme, meaning that you can expect to spend at least 10 years studying to be a GP in Canada, although other specialisms could take up to 13 years.

Australia

In Australia, an MBBS can take between 4-6 years depending on where you study. Following this is a period of postgraduate study to focus on a specialism, such as training to be a General Practitioner (GP), which usually takes between 3-5 years to complete. This means that you could be a GP in just 9-11 years, but it is possible to be qualified in other specialisms after just 7 years of study and training.

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New Zealand

New Zealand has only two Medical Schools, located at the University of Otago and University of Auckland. Medical School lasts for 6 years in New Zealand, however, during your 6th year you are working in a hospital alongside qualified doctors, and are able to earn a small salary whilst in this position. Following this, graduates must work for two years as a House Officer. This is similar to an F1 and F2 in the UK, where the graduates work for 3 months at a time across different sections of the hospital. Following this, the junior doctors begin working towards their chosen specialism, which usually lasts between 4-6 years, taking the total time of study to 12-14 years.

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How Long Does It Take To Become A Nurse?

Nursing is a great vocational degree with a high rate of employment after graduation. If you are interested in helping people and get a buzz off of meeting people from a wide range of backgrounds then nursing might just be the perfect career for you. Typical courses range from 3-4 years, which upon completion you will be entered to sit an exam with that country’s nursing council. If you pass this exam then you will be a Registered Nurse (RN) and will be able to be work as a fully-qualified nurse. Once you start working, you will learn a lot on the job, and there will also be opportunities for further development courses.

UK

3 years – University of Bangor: Bachelor of Adult Nursing (Honours)

Ireland

4 years – Trinity College Dublin: 4 Year Nursing Degree Programme (BSc Cur)

USA

Bachelor of Science in Nursing – 4 years

Canada

Bachelor of Science in Nursing – 4 years

Australia

Bachelor of Nursing – 3 years

New Zealand

Bachelor of Nursing – 3 years

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Veterinary Studies in Canada

The Canadian Veterinary Medicial Association offers practical advice on applying to veterinary courses.

Preparing for veterinary studies

Students who are interested in becoming a veterinarian should select courses in science at the high school level and discuss a suitable preparatory academic programme with a well-informed guidance counsellor. Science courses such as biology, chemistry and physics form a foundation upon which further education will rest, but optional courses in the humanities and social sciences are recommended, as well as a strong background in mathematics. If working in a clinic upon graduation is of interest, students should consider taking degree courses in business administration, management or entrepreneurship. A student must also plan to gain practical experience by working with several animal species. Voluntary experience and employment with a veterinarian is helpful in gaining insight into the profession and references from these sources are part of the admission requirements.

Veterinary studies in Canada

To obtain a doctor of veterinary medicine (DVM) degree in Canada, a minimum of six years of university education is required: two years of pre-veterinary study at a regular university, followed by four years of courses in veterinary medicine at one of the five Canadian veterinary colleges (five years in the province of Quebec). Some colleges are adjusting their pre-veterinary requirements and introducing curriculum changes to reflect the changing face of the profession.

Guidance counsellors should be able to advise students regarding these changes. In Canada, the number of students that can be accommodated in a veterinary school is limited. Canadian veterinary colleges currently graduate about 400 veterinarians each year.

Canadian Veterinary Medical Association

Canada’s veterinarians are represented by the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA), a national professional association that encourages veterinarians to uphold high medical and professional standards and supports them in their practices. The CVMA promotes veterinary medicine to the public, advocates responsible treatment of animals and provides professional development opportunities. It also publishes two scientific journals and authoritative position statements on veterinary medicine and animal health and welfare issues. The CVMA administers the National Examining Board examination and oversees the Canadian Veterinary Reserve, a source of pre-trained veterinarians and animal health technologists who may be called upon in declared emergencies to supplement relief efforts.

Practicing veterinary medicine in Canada

Canada has over 11,000 veterinarians working in a number of different fields:

  • Private practice 75% of Canadian veterinarians work in small, large or mixed animal practices or in specialised practices dealing with one species or discipline
  • Government 10% of Canadian veterinarians work for some level of government
  • Teaching and research 5% of Canadian veterinarians are in teaching and research
  • Industry 6% of veterinarians hold various occupations in the veterinary industry
  • The remaining 4% of veterinarians work in other related fields.

Visit www.animalhealthcare.ca for more information on veterinary medicine in Canada. This article was written by Kristin McEvoy, Communications Officer, Canadian Veterinary Medical Association

Critical and original thought…procrastination by another name?

There are many reasons people attend university. To achieve a lifelong career dream. To pursue a financially rewarding career. To pass a few years whilst they work out ‘who they are’. All legitimate reasons, but are they achievable? The outcomes of university may also seem self-explanatory: degree, employment opportunities, networks of colleagues for years to come. Realistically, though, the true benefits of studying are much less tangible. Measuring them can take a little more nuance.

Adam Grant did a TED talk about what he coins ‘originals’. Those individuals who break from convention and try something new. People who say ‘No,’ to traditional routes of learning in favour of breaking their own path. Seeing this video got me to thinking: is university really about the subject you choose to major in? Or is it, in 2019, more about developing relevant original thoughts and ideas to propel you into the unpredictable future?

looking-to-the-future

Original thought is abstract as an idea

Throughout recent years, universities, colleges and schools have all attempted to distil such ideas through classes labelled ‘Critical thinking’ (an old Oxbridge favourite), ‘Reasoning’, or plain old ‘Study skills’.  The aim: to encourage lateral and open dialogue, discussion and dissection of ideas for the promotion of progress. The reality: professors divesting themselves of a range of references to philosophy, scientific studies and psychological theorems to encourage students to reflect on their learning.

Grant, though, looks at the concept in a different manner. He describes one of his most productive and creative students and her exceptional talent… for procrastination. Instead of following protocols – like deadlines for essays – she forged her own way through. And Grant supported her to do so. He was inspired by her gumption and so they entered into a study into procrastination. As a result, they found creativity and procrastination to be inextricably linked and notes, with humour, the limitations of the study as unfortunately the chronic offenders were too lazy to complete the questionnaire! There’s a sweet spot between being lastminute.com and the early bird who catches the worm.

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Procrastination for the win

So perhaps that stereotype of students who leave everything to the last minute (due to too much time on social media) as gamblers is incorrect. Maybe, contrary to long held beliefs, some people really do ‘work better under pressure’ from a deadline. Some of the most famous people in the world admit to it:

  • The Dalai Lama has admitted “Only in the face of a difficult challenge or an urgent deadline would I study and work without laziness”. He argues that he has seen the light now, though, and encourages a life of preparation so that “if you die tonight, you would have no regrets”.
  • Herman Melville (author of Moby Dick) was so awful a procrastinator he was physically chained to his desk in order to finish his magnum opus.
  • Bill Clinton – his aides reported that during his presidency, despite careful planning and plenty of notice on their part, he would often leave drafts/comments to the last moment with Al Gore referring to him as ‘punctually challenged’.

Maybe, rather than being a sign of weakness or disengagement, the lessons learned from having to accelerate uphill towards a deadline actually produces spontaneity and genuine moments of brilliance as Grant suggests.

Elon Musk has said that he has often started a project without any clue as to the likelihood of success. But, he argues, if an idea is important, there’s too much of a risk if you don’t try. That is surely the most valuable lesson any student gains from university: that risks are worth taking, and if you look at things in your own way you may just live to see them pay off.

5-Reasons-You-Should-Get-a-Degree-in-Social-Work-2

Books for Finance Students and Investors Alike

Finance is a constantly developing industry, and one it is ever more crucial to understand thoroughly in this technological age of enlightenment. There are endless fresh approaches to business and fresh opportunities, too. So it is little wonder that degrees in finance-related subjects are some of the most sought after in the world. An attractive proposition, here are some books that illuminate the diverse world of finance – from insurance to banking, real estate to investment. Here are our top books for finance students and investors alike.

The Finance Book: Understand the numbers even if you’re not a finance professional. Si Hussain and Stuart Warner

First, an introductory text designed for people without an in-depth understanding of the industry. This book is written in easily accessible language by a successful CEO (Hussain) and a Chartered Accountant (Warner). The Finance Book encourages you to think like a financier. Of particular interest may be the sections on interpretation of documents and dossiers or strategic theories for robust decisions in business. Other topics covered include pricing and costing, ratios, and debts and profit. Great for new managers, budding entrepreneurs and future finance students, this book is digestible and direct in its content. A must-read, full of insight and time-saving ideas.

Uncommon Sense: The popular misconceptions of business, investing and finance and how to profit by going against the tide. Mark Homer

Entrepreneur and investor, from the early age of 15 Mark Homer has dedicated his career to the pursuit of a financial career. He began by investing and reinvesting in several businesses. Now he’s known for writing a plethora of essential reads for those wishing to invest in the property markets.

This guide, released in 2017, is for all those wanting to know some hard and fast rules for success. A self-confessed ‘spreadsheet geek’, in his wittily titled ‘Uncommon Sense’ Homer outlines some lesser-known ways he has learned to enjoy success. How? By deconstructing the myths of the industry such as ‘Most assets make no money’ or ‘gut feelings’ which should be ignored!

Who is Homer to dictate the rules? A man whose portfolio of the property now ranges into hundreds of assets, and whose ‘algorithm’ when applied accurately can open up opportunities in commercial and residential property alike. He has now reached an audience of tens of thousands. Homer also enjoys the accolade of having written the top 4 books in the UK on property development. It’s a good starting point for those desirous of avoiding pitfalls that have befallen many in recent years hoping to ‘break’ the markets.

Broke Millennial Takes On Investing: A Beginner’s Guide to Levelling-Up Your Money. Erin Lowry

This book does what it says on the tin! It gathers together advice for the current generation of would-be investors to ensure that they make astute decisions when choosing where to place their money. Many questions rest on the lips of young people wanting to access the burgeoning market of finance: when, where and how to invest being just the tip of the iceberg.

From the basics of understanding the lingo to more hands-on guides written in a tongue-in-cheek tone. Opening with an ‘infomercial’ style intro, signed off by Lowry simply as ‘Erin’, there’s no doubt as to why it shot to the top of the bestsellers’ list in the US…the ‘221 pages of fun’ that detail how to avoid being risk-averse in a game that encourages (a certain amount of) risky business. Chapters that are titled as the questions framed by Millenials wanting to invest, Lowry’s answers are drawn from personal experience and hard-learned lessons.

Entertaining and enlightening – read ‘Broke Millenial Takes On Investing’ and if you enjoy it, look up Lowry’s other titles too.

A Random Walk Down Wall Street – The Time Tested Strategy for Successful Investing. Burton G. Malkiel

An oldie but a goodie, you can’t argue with over 1.5 million copies sold. This is no ‘easy reader’, however. Now in its 12th Edition, you may wonder how relevant a text ‘A Random Walk’ could be. Well, the publishers have acknowledged this in the new preface and they suggest the reason for another update is the ever-growing spectrum of tools available to the public and the industry to manage their finances.

Unpicking the financial crises of recent years, and analysing the impacts and uses of developed technologies, this is surprisingly enjoyable to dip into and well-written to ensure secure understanding can be gained. With a title derived from an insult on Wall Street, this text explores intricacies of the financial markets often deemed unfathomable by most aspiring investors. Best enjoyed in stages rather than settling in on a cold winters’ night, Malkiel’s book is essential reading nonetheless.

So those are your starters-for-ten. Enjoy! They’ll become your new best friend, whether you are hoping for a career in finance, studying for a degree or considering an investment of your own.

Enjoyed this article? Check out our other business subject guides.

5 Books All Aspiring Medical Students Should Read

Medical students are the unsung heroes of many healthcare industries around the world. They are fresh eyes and new ideas in an ever-challenging world of medicine. Whether in developing countries or developed, the experiences of these inspirational individuals make for some incredible reading. You may laugh, cry or some combination of the two. But if you want to become a medical professional, here are five top picks to keep you entertained on the journey.

Your Life In My Hands – Rachel Clarke

Formerly a television journalist, Briton Rachel Clarke decided to switch careers aged 29. For many doctors, medicine has been their only career. But for Clarke, she had thought that the experiences she had on the ground as a journalist would make another role pale in comparison. Hours “under fire in Congo’s killing fields”? They’d make medicine seem a walk in the park, right? Wrong. From the start of her engaging and charming book she makes it clear that the real challenges she has faced began in the wards of her training hospital.

Written with inimitable candidness, her honesty jumps off the page. You can’t help but like the narrator, and get drawn in to the story of her journey. From conversations with Prime Ministers about ‘water closets’ to letters to the national press decrying the state of affairs in the NHS that prompted national protests, the links between her current and past careers is undeniable. Perhaps because of this her voice is strong, her passion infectious and her perspective refreshing.

A must-read memoir for those wanting to switch up the monotony of the day job for the challenge of a lifetime: working in medicine.

The Real Doctor Will See You Now – Matt McCarthy

Skipping across the pond, Matt McCarthy‘s first year of med school is underlined with humour from the outset. His first line: “It started with a banana peel.” shows his bemusement at some of the experiences he had when starting out at Columbia University Medical Centre, New York.

He details his supportive relationships with his second-year adviser Baio, the trials and tribulations of night shifts and the fear associated with being ‘on call’. More importantly, though, he talks about what he has learned. Not from his university studies or even his supervisors…from the patients he cares for. Of course, like all of the books recommended here, there is a disclaimer at the start. It’s along the lines that whilst the stories are based upon clinical experience, in order to maintain the integrity of the Hippocratic oath sworn by doctors around the world, details have been changed to anonymise patients’ information. However, there is a reality to the words McCarthy writes, and a tenderness without saccharine sweetness in the manner in which he reveres his charges. In particular, the relationship with Benny who had taken up residence in the hospital waiting for a heart transplant is a pull on the heart-strings.

Definitely worth a read, and good for raising aspirations too – with his humble beginnings Matt is now an associate professor in medicine as well as serving on the Ethics Committee at a top NY hospital.

When Breath Becomes Air – Paul Kalanithi

The topic of this tome – death – is one that makes many uncomfortable. It is, however, a daily colleague of medical staff. As someone with a conflicted relationship with medicine – a tone of disappointment in an absent father who was brilliant as a physician and lacking in consistency as a parent runs throughout this book – Kalanithi introduces himself as someone who wanted to be a writer rather than a doctor from an early age. This would clearly have been a great career path, evidenced by his careful craftsmanship as his challenging yet compassionate tale unfolds.

Paul, it turns out, has passed away and this book is his last foray into the world: an examination of his experiences from both sides of the table as a neurosurgeon and a cancer patient. In his own words, “Life isn’t about avoiding suffering.” By turns delighting and devastating, this tale speaks of humanity and the search for knowledge and joy regardless of an insurmountable illness.

Harsh but true, doctors must grow used to death. What better way to learn than through the words of one who’s experienced both?

This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor – Adam Kay

Adam Kay is no longer a doctor. After many expensive years of training, and eye-watering experiences to last a lifetime, he hung up his stethoscope in 2010. What remains of his medical career are an assortment of tidbits and anecdotes hastily scribbled down during his time as a Junior Doctor working for the NHS.

A rallying cry for his comrades who were still under the cosh from political attacks, Kay sees himself as a counterbalance to the negativity published about the health service. From the absurd to the sublime, this book beggars belief and will leave you with no questions where the phrase, “It takes all sorts to make the world go round.” comes from.

Witty footnotes and translations of jargon mean that Kay’s book is informative as well as compelling. Contrasts of days filled with filing and night shifts that would make your hair curl (or straight-up fall out) are intertwined. His conclusion? A very heavily worded letter to the Secretary of State for Health that, if you’ve made it thus far, you’ll be vehemently agreeing with and echoing with your own shortly after. See him read from his book here.

Life as a Medical Student: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly: A dose of reality from 30 medical students – Sihame Benmira

Catchy title, but it does exactly what it says on the tin. This book is aimed at the multitude of young people who know they want to become medical doctors but have little understanding of what the training entails. The provenance of many medical tomes is clear through the authors’ prominence – and yet, who better to hear from than those who have walked the path before you?

Benmira successfully tracks the changing emotions and experiences of those pursuing long years of study to achieve that coveted title: Doctor ____. The chapters are organised for first to fifth years, and one for those who are intercalating in a specified area. Sleepless nights and high workloads are common themes, but this is a gem for people requiring a dose of reality…or reassurance that it’s not just you going through it!